GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – State troopers say all four people who died in a horrific highway wreck Sunday in Marshall County were not wearing their seatbelts.
Ryan Lawson, a 19-year-old Pleasant Grove volunteer firefighter, was driving the truck involved in the wreck. Lawson died Monday morning at Huntsville Hospital.
The Marshall County Coroner says Blake Anthony Keener, 21, died at the scene. He was riding in the truck bed. Friends have set up a memorial Facebook page for Keener. Visit it by clicking here.
A 13-year-old girl, Maegan Cordell, also died at the scene. She was riding in the cab of the truck with Lawson. Friends have also set up a memorial Facebook page for Cordell. Visit it by clicking here.
A fourth victim, Ruben Pacheco, 18, of Albertville, was identified by police on Monday afternoon. Pacheco was a passenger in the bed of the truck.
Another victim who was riding in the cab of the pickup truck is 15-year-old Megan Lang. Lang is currently in critical condition at Huntsville Hospital and will undergo surgery on Tuesday.
First responders told WHNT News 19 that a pickup truck was heading north on Highway 431 shortly after 2:40 p.m. when it collided with another vehicle, a Chevy Cobalt, just north of Guntersville. State troopers have yet to say exactly how the wreck happened, but witnesses told WHNT News 19 that several victims were riding in the pickup and on its bed when it spun out and flipped over. State troopers said there were at least eight people riding in the truck with some of the victims being thrown from the back. State Trooper spokesman Curtis Summerville told WHNT News 19 that none of the deceased victims were wearing seatbelts.
“Preliminary reports indicate no one was actually wearing their seatbelts,” said Summerville. “We’re still investigating the causes of the crash, so we’re not really privy to release that information at this point. It is still an ongoing investigation.”
A total of four air ambulances were called to the scene, including helicopters from Air Evac, Medflight and Lifesaver companies. Witnesses who lived near the wreck described a scene of panic and confusion.
“When I got here there was three helicopters on the ground,” said James Maze, whose house is near the crash site. “I could see the ambulances and police and that vehicle, that truck burning. I was told by a young lady that her sister was in the truck and she was 13, 14 years old.”
Highway 431 was closed for several hours while authorities cleared out the wreckage.
Stat troopers say the cause of the crash remains under investigation.
A man who identified himself as an occupant of the other car called our newsroom Sunday night and said there were a total of four people in the Chevy Cobalt. The man confirmed no one in the car was hurt.
Visitation for Maegan Cordell will be held Tuesday at Sanctuary Church in Albertville from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Her funeral will be Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Sanctuary Church.